Terengganu beachgoers advised to be on alert for poisonous jellyfish

KUALA TERENGGANU: Beachgoers in Terengganu are advised to be careful following the discovery of the poisonous Portuguese Man o 'War jellyfish at Pantai Kelulut and Pantai Pulau Kerengga in Marang near here yesterday evening.

Terengganu Fisheries Department director Ruzaidi Mamat said checks by department staff at the two beaches this morning found four of this jellyfish.

"There may still be such jellyfish along the coast and monitoring is underway. Visitors are advised to immediately report to the department if they come across the jellyfish," said Ruzaidi.

"Even though the jellyfish were found dead, people are advised not to touch the carcass as it is still poisonous and very dangerous. If stung, immediately go to a nearby clinic or hospital for treatment," he said in a statement on Sunday.

The current phase of the Northeast monsoon season is one of the factors behind why the jellyfish are found beached along the East Coast and the last time the poisonous species was seen in the waters of Terengganu was in February 2020.

Ruzaidi said previous studies had recorded the discovery of more than 1,000 of this jellyfish floating in the waters of the Indian Ocean and they moved by drifting to the currents or wind.

"To avoid a threat on the surface, it can deflate its airbag and sink for a while. The average tentacle length of this species can reach over 30 feet long and is covered by poison-filled nematocysts used to paralyse and kill fish and other small creatures.

"If there is contact with humans, the sting is very painful, fatal cases are very rare but one still needs to be careful. Dead jellyfish that have washed ashore can also sting if touched," he said. - Bernama

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